Meet Our Faculty

The faculty working closely with students in this program bring a wealth of research, academic and practical expertise in their respective fields of expertise. It is directed by Brooks B. Gump, Professor of Public Health, Syracuse University, and Karen Wolford, Professor Department of Psychology and Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program in Trauma Studies at SUNY Oswego.

Brooks B. Gump, Ph.D., M.P.H.Brooks-GumpSquare

PI; Syracuse University

Dr. Gump has involved undergraduate students as co-author (3 publications) and presenter (5 conferences). In addition, Gump was recently PI for an Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) from NIH. This award mechanism is designed to increase the availability of projects that “will expose undergraduate (preferably, if available) and graduate students to meritorious research” (NIH AREA guidelines). Thus far, this award has resulted in 3 conference presentations by students and 3 publications with student co-authors. Gump co-authored a paper and presentation (see below) with NSF REU students from Year 01. Gump is currently PI for a large NIH R01 that involves many undergraduates in practicums, research assistantships, and independent studies.

Karen Wolford, Ph.D.KarenW

co-PI; SUNY Oswego

Dr. Wolford is the Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Trauma Studies at Oswego and has involved undergraduate students as co-authors (2 publications) and presenters (3 international conferences). She has recently supervised several McNair scholars and has supervised 4 other McNair scholars prior to that on their research who have graduated. All McNair scholar graduates that she supervised have been accepted to graduate study with funding.

Keith A. Alford, Ph.D., ACSWKeith_AlfordSquare

Syracuse University

Dr. Alford provides instruction and leadership for two important program needs: 1) diversity and trauma, and 2) group cohesion and conflict resolution. We have learned from our first 2 years that some interpersonal conflicts arise as a function of a diverse student population (some with mild to moderate PTSD) being engaged in trauma-related material and research. Dr. Alford will stay in close contact with students through 2 courses and provide the necessary support for students as they engage in this important research in this unique environment.


Matthew Dykas, Ph.D.MatthewD

SUNY Oswego

Dr. Dykas is the Director of the Relationships Across Development Laboratory (RAD Lab) at SUNY Oswego. His expertise is in social and emotional development, with specific emphasis on attachment and caregiving processes. He has published research in a variety of academic journals and has an extensive track record for both involving undergraduate students in his research program and overseeing undergraduate students’ research projects. In addition to directing the RAD Lab, Dr. Dykas serves as the Chair of SUNY Oswego Psychology Department.

Stephen Glatt, Ph.D.SteveG

SUNY Upstate Medical University

Stephen J. Glatt, Ph.D. is Associate Director of Research for the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Psychiatric Genetic Epidemiology & Neurobiology Laboratory (PsychGENe Lab) at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Dr. Glatt has published over 85 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 7 of which included undergraduate co-authors. In his PsychGENe Lab, he oversees numerous students, including undergraduates and even high-school students. With particular reference to undergraduate students, Dr. Glatt is currently hosting a Presidential Fellow from Ithaca College and a student in the Renee Crown University Honors Program at Syracuse University. A current medical student at New York Medical College just completed her undergraduate Honors thesis work in the PsychGENe Lab under Dr. Glatt’s supervision. Furthermore, Dr. Glatt has directly mentored three students over two summers in our NSF-sponsored REU, involving each of these students in his ongoing PTSD biomarker research.

Adam Fay, Ph.D.AdamF

SUNY Oswego

Adam Fay is a social psychologist. His research focuses on social affiliation and interpersonal relationships, with particular attention to the roles of sensory experiences and fundamental motivations. Current projects are examining how complex interactions between needs for social belonging and self-protection interact with sensory stimuli and individual differences in social anxiety to shape social cognition and behavior.

Kevin Heffernan, Ph.D.KevinH

Syracuse University

Dr. Kevin Heffernan’s research examines the interaction of diet, nutritional supplementation and exercise on vascular function in health, disease and disability. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the most salient killer in in the United States and is also one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among U.S. veterans. Exposure to combat is a unique, intense stress that increases risk for incident hypertension and new-onset coronary disease over a relatively short period of time in young military personnel. The number of combat-exposed veterans continues to increase, many service of them returning with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Both combat exposure and PTSD have been linked to CVD morbidity including incident heart failure, stroke, and myocardial ischemia. It is possible that the profound physical and psychological stress of combat coupled with PTSD may accelerate the atherosclerotic process contributing to premature vascular aging. Our overarching research agenda will explore links between PTSD and CVD risk in young Veterans. We will further explore the impact of various lifestyle factors and other related constructs (physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition) on PTSD and CVD risk in young Veterans.

Ivan CastroIvanCastro

Syracuse University

Ivan serves as Project Manager, coordinating execution of the program and providing administrative support to faculty and students. He also assists in the recruitment of subjects and collection of data for the program’s research studies. Ivan, a Navy veteran, holds a BA in Psychology from SUNY Oswego and is attending Falk College for graduate studies in Public Health (MS). This position is funded with support from the Institute of Veterans and Military Families and Falk College Dean’s Office.